EU ETS emissions fell 4.5% in 2014. Is the EU’s flagship policy (ETS) on the verge of capsizing?

EU ETS emissions fell 4.5% in 2014. Is the EU’s flagship policy (ETS) on the verge of capsizing?

Information has just been issued from the European Commission, suggesting that emissions fell by 4.5% in 2014, compared to a year earlier. These figures significantly reveal that European industry deploys extensive innovations which helps them to cut greenhouse gas output.The data covers the emissions for 2014, from more than 12,000 installations. FIGURES - The highlights Emissions from the power and heat installations – the biggest emitting sector under the EU ETS - dropped by 6.8%, but not only due to a mild Europe-wide winter which would have cut demand for heat and electricity. Emissions from the oil and gas sector showed a 3.7% decrease, whilst the pulp and paper sector also fell by 4.6%. CO2 output increased by 1.1% in the metals industry, and in the cement, lime, glass, and ceramics industries by 3%, due to higher production. The countries showing the largest cuts in percentage terms were: Slovenia (-17%), Denmark (-14.4%), France (-12.4%), and Britain (-11.4%). Central European countries performed well, too, with Lithuania leading the way with (-6.8%), closely followed by Latvia (-6.6%) and Estonia (-6.1%). Slovakia (-3.8%), Croatia (-3.7%), and Poland (-2.4%), also performed creditably. Nine of the 31 countries in the survey increased their emissions, with the Netherlands (+3.0%), and Spain (+2.0%). The EU’s backloading measure, cut auction volumes by 400 million units last year, and led to a net shortage of around 200 million tonnes. However, the allowances surplus was still growing, due to the falling emissions figures, and this mixed picture led the EU’s Climate Commissioner, Miguel Arias Canete, to declare on Twitter: “We need a quick and robust MSR deal!” He is [...]
Germany Wants the Best of Both Worlds – Emission Reductions and Continued Energy Generation with Coal

Germany Wants the Best of Both Worlds – Emission Reductions and Continued Energy Generation with Coal

Germany has taken two significant steps regarding the future of its energy sector and climate protection. Firstly, it chose to dispel doubts regarding country`s pledge to reduce CO2 emissions by 40% by 2020 (in comparison to the values of 1990), by renewing its commitment to this goal. Secondly, it decided to phase out nuclear power by 2022 –which was triggered by the Fukushima nuclear disaster. However, a tension arises as nuclear power – currently covering 15% of Germany’s demand – is CO2 neutral and will have to be replaced by other sources of energy. Despite a significant prospective growth in renewables to 47% by 2020, the energy network will continue to rely heavily on the base load capacity of conventional coal and gas power plants. In this context, with two essential documents being published by the German Federal Government in recent weeks, the role of coal power plants has returned to the focus of public debate around the Energiewende. So, it is difficult to imagine that coal, at least in the medium term, will not remain a major part of German power production. [Tweet "the main role of the energy market will remain to find a balance between power generation and consumption "]On October 31st, 2014, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy published a Green Paper on the future of the electricity market within the framework of the Energiewende. The paper underlines the transition that the German energy market will be going through up to 2022: greater integration into a European energy market, the nuclear phase-out, as well as the continuing expansion of renewables. Even under [...]